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Alluring Reads

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Return to Me

Return to Me - Justina Chen You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.If there is one thing I have found out about myself during my months as a book blogger it’s that I am a sucker for a contemporary. I love a good issue book and a cover, such as the one for Return To Me, always sucks me in. This results in me getting bitten in the butt quite a bit. I was quick to request Return To Me and it was quick to bite me in the butt. The only way I can think to review this book is to take my notes (yep I actually took notes for this one folks) and separate them into a like/didn’t like type post, so that’s what I am going to do.First I’ll talk about what I liked about his novel. The writing is very pretty and I really enjoyed the rich descriptions that painted a very clear picture in my head. It may have been bordering on a little too flowery at some points but I didn’t find that the prose crossed that line at any point and just stayed within the realm of gorgeous. Another wonderful part of this novel was its focus on family values. While the family started off in a definite bout of turbulence and had their issues with one another, the book was really about their journey to understanding one another. I really enjoyed how the trip to Hawaii to visit with Rebecca’s grandfather opened their eyes to how much a person can change and got them on the road to acceptance of one another. Now for what I disliked. Oh boy. I didn’t find that there were any redeeming characters in this book. Rebecca’s father was a terrible person and the flippant way in which he handled his abandonment of his family really made me sick to my stomach. I hated him, I hated the smug look he always had on his face and if I could have kicked him in the junk, I would have. He was just an all around terrible person, which was too bad because I had high hopes for him in the beginning of the novel. Rebecca’s mom didn’t merit any emotion from me and her brother, Reid was almost non existent except for his few outbursts and him just being around and writing in his journal. I guess if I had to pick one character as the star for me it would be the Grandpa. He was a person that had everyone in his life give up on him for his waywardness and he came around, got his life together and started something truly beautiful with his resort.Now I have to talk about Rebecca. This girl drove me up the wall. She came across as delusional and a little crazy at a lot of points in the novel. What really ruined her for me was her drastic distancing of herself from her boyfriend, Jackson. This boy had done absolutely nothing wrong and she projected what her father had done onto him and shut him out like child. Now, I can see how what her father had done would frighten her and make her more cautious in the relationship for sure, but I just couldn’t understand her reactions to anything. What was worse was that after she shut Jackson out, we had to suffer through her thinking about what a good guy he is and how much she missed him almost every other page! I think those parts were supposed to earn sympathy and understanding from the reader but I found myself rolling my eyes every time she said she missed him simply because she was acting completely irrationally.In the end this book didn’t work for me on so many levels. I found it hard not to resort to skimming for the last quarter and the only thing that kept me from doing so was watching Rebecca and her mother’s relationship flourish. I lost interest in her crappy father and her wanting but refusing to be with Jackson very early on in the novel. I can’t recommend this one but if you are looking for one that, in the end, stresses the importance of family, then this one could be for you.